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Rashomon (help please)

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    I am doing a presentation for my film class about AKira Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon” there I am suppose to talk about:

    Historical criticism finds meaning by looking at a film within the framework of the prevailing ideas and assumptions of its historical era or by considering its contents within the context of “what really happened” during the period that preduced the film”

    if anyone has a website they recommend please let me know thank you!


    Vili Maunula

    Hi Yana,

    I think books would be a safer bet for some ideas. Especially the book Rashomon has a few essays that might work as a starting point.

    Don’t forget the works by Richie, Prince or Yoshimoto, either. You can find a list of books here, many of which should be available in a library near you.



    This essay touches on the subject of historicism in Rashomon. Joan Mellon, in her book on Seven Samurai is very interesting when writing about the historical settings of Kurosawa’s films, although she doesn’t address Rashomon directly.



    Hi Yana. “Rashomon“! What a wonderful film to do a report on!

    I don’t know when your report is due, nor how interested you are in your subject. In this forum, we’ve found Kurosawa interesting enough to spend hours poring over books and films, and hours more writing about our discoveries and observations…so most of us have seen all of Kurosawa’s films (so as to place each in context of the arc of the artist’s career) and have read all the books on the reference pages here. If you are (almost guaranteed) short of time, ….I would point out Prince’s book as having the most dirt on the contemporary release reaction. Really painstaking research he did digging up all those old critiques. And, it would be brilliant to get Kurosawa’s biography (because it really is fascinating!) and see what the man himself said about the film. I would safely say that if you began there, you could add in from online sources.

    If you are at University, you probably have access to online .pdf files of critical discussions in film magazines and quarterlies. I’ve found that a Google search is more helpful than our university online search engine in getting worthwhile results, so you might try there. Try “Google Scholar” for the best and most relevant info., (yyou can plug in your university library as the default for the search) and play around with combination searches. For example, “Rashomon” will find you tons of articles with the “Rashomon Effect” as the starting point for a subjective analysis of…well, everything from science to art. You can refine by plugging in “Kurosawa’s Rashomon”, etc. until you get something useful to your presentation.

    I found the source material (Akutagawa) online here: http://www.uwec.edu/taylorb/Short%20Fiction%20Eng%20274/274%20files/274%20stories%20misc/Rashomon.pdf

    Hope that is helpful! The literary source material, the artist’s observations, and contemporary criticism…those things may be helpful.

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